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Maruti cuts price of Alto

New Delhi, Sept. 2: Maruti Udyog today lowered prices of its Alto model by nearly 8 per cent after reporting a 4.2 per cent drop in sales for the month of August.

Maruti, which exports the Alto model to the east European countries, said the base model Alto LX would sport a sticker price of Rs 2,65,013 (ex-showroom Delhi) against the earlier price of Rs 2.88 lakh.

The country’s biggest car maker, in which Suzuki Motor Corp holds a 54.2 per cent stake, had reported a 3.3 per cent drop in domestic sales to 29,443 units in August while exports fell 13.3 per cent to 2,684 units.

“Our strategy is to make Alto a very attractive option for the large number of first-time car buyers,” the car-maker said in a statement.

According to Maruti officials, a key vendor of the car-maker is on strike which has hit production and affected sales.

Sales of its Maruti 800, the country’s top-selling car, fell 11.5 per cent in the month to 11,999 units while the combined sales of its Omni and Versa vans dropped 8.6 per cent to 4,010 units.

However, the combined sales of its three compact cars —Alto, Zen and Wagon R — rose 5.1 per cent to 11,847 and of its two sedans jumped 17.5 per cent to 1,208. Sales of its Gypsy and Vitara multi-utility vehicles doubled to 379 units.

Maruti’s sales have boomed since March after the budget cut excise duty or production tax on cars and utility vehicles to 24 per cent from 32 per cent.

The automaker, which completed the country’s biggest IPO in nearly five years in June, makes 10 models and imports one fully built model from Japan.

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